By Kevin Collison
Native Digital, a growing marketing firm now based in Midtown, is relocating its 25-employee headquarters to a renovated building in the Crossroads District early this fall.
The firm is leasing the upper two floors of the historic Maxwell-Briscoe Garage building at 1612 Grand. The old garage, which opened in 1909, has been a derelict property for many years and is being redeveloped by Abbott Properties.
“We’re excited to triple our space and to get downtown and be more in the heart of things,” said Jake Jacobson, Native Digital vice president of growth and partnerships.
The company, which specializes in helping businesses and organizations tell their story through brand strategy, creative messaging and performance marketing was founded five years ago by Justin Watkins.
It’s currently located at 3502 Gillham and is bursting at the seams in its current 3,500 square-foot digs. The firm added 10 employees last year and three so far in 2020.
“The Covid situation made it clear how packed we were,” Jacobson said.
Shelby Mathews, creative director, said the design of the new downtown space will allow the company to demonstrate its creativity to clients while providing a better workplace for its staff.
“One of my goals for the new space is to be intentional about the layout,” she said. “How can we create an exciting experience for clients when they first walk in?”
The second floor entrance lobby will feature a large window with views of the Crossroads and the historic The Kansas City Star building which is currently undergoing a major renovation into office space.
The original brick walls and massive wooden beams of the former car dealership garage will be retained with some new flourishes.
A neon sign is being fashioned by Steinmetz Neon and Andy Thacker is creating wood planter boxes that will contain four-foot cacti.
The large conference room will be enclosed in glass on one side and the other walls will have large windows to allow in ample natural light.
“The space should provide a great place to collaborate with clients and spark creativity,” Mathews said.
The first floor of the building will be part of Abbott Property’s new The Bardot event space which also occupies the building next door at 1616 Grand.
Jacobson said Native Digital has weathered the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in good shape.
“We’re position well for continued growth,” he said.
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